In The Interest Of Consensus

The profile of those being called to discuss the issues at the Major National Dialogue is becoming clearer.

The countdown to the National Dialogue announced by the Head of State on 10 September 2019 to discuss the return to peace and stability in the North West and South West Regions is narrowing down to zero. The indications given on Wednesday 25 September 2019 by the Spokesperson of the event, Dr George Ewane that the opening will be from 30 September to 4 October 2019 as well as clarifications on the number of Committee to be created was informative enough. The facts already gave an idea of those who could participate at the dialogue and the precision that not all those who have so far been consulted by the Prime Minister were expected to be part of the Committee. This is another sounding note.

Even when President Paul Biya gave specifications on those who could take part in the dialogue, stating that it was intended to be inclusive, people still took the debate towards all angles with proposals that had nothing to do with the burning issues. While some came to Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute with obvious personal or local agendas, the bottom-line is that the pre-consultations were obviously an important step to get the views of Cameroonians such that when discussions begin, such concerns could be taken into consideration without having to drift far out of the republican ambitions of the talks as prescribed by the Head of State.

Going back to the guidelines from President Paul Biya who convened the dialogue on 10 September 2019 saying that; “I therefore strongly believe that the time has come to rally all well-thinking and constructive forces in our country and in the diaspora to make this desire come true.” Thus, choosing members of the Committees at the dialogue should be on the basis of their ability to put the interest of the country first and ensure that decisions taken are capable of facilitating a return to normal life in the restive parts of the country.

Of course, the spirit of the dialogue requires that those present should be able to analyse issues as the Head of State stipulated in line “with our Constitution, enable us to seek ways and means of meeting the high aspirations of the people of the North-West and South-West Regions, but also of all the other components of our Nation”. By breaking down the discussion into eight Committees, the Prime Minister is equally setting the stage for the dialogue. The Committees as indicated by the Spokesperson shall tackle specific themes such as bilingualism, cultural diversity, education, justice, reconstruction and development, decentralisation and local development, disarmament and reintegration as well as the diaspora. In order to best examine the various topics, “The dialogue will therefore rally all the sons and daughters of our beloved and beautiful country, Cameroon, to reflect on values that are dear to us, namely: peace, security, national unity and progress,” President Paul Biya emphasized. Fortunately, Cameroon has all the required profiles of people to be able to handle the issues at stake. Drawing from the midst of parliamentarians, politicians, opinion leaders, intellectuals, economic operators, traditional authorities, religious authorities, members of the diaspora, etc. there is no doubt that these men and women of substance can get Cameroon out of any tight corner.

As the delegates converge on the Yaounde Conference Centre on Monday 30 September 2019, they have to be conscious of the history making epoch that they are called to write. From every indication, they have no right to fail Cameroonians because the world is watching and the time for them to act has come. So let the dialogue flow!

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